We will be driving from Cody to Yellowstone in late June, via the Chief Joseph Highway/Beartooth Pass. I would like to drive east on the Beartooth Pass just for the scenery, then backtrack and enter through the NE entrance. I have looked at going as far as Rock Creek Resort and then turning around, but not sure if we will go that far just to back track. We have reservations at Roosevelt Lodge that night and I understand check in is at 4:30pm. I am hoping to leave Cody at least by 7 – 7:30am and have calculated it may take approximately 4.5 – 5 hours to get to Yellowstone with this plan. I am a little worried that this may take longer though.
First question, does my calculation seem realistic at all, or am I way off? I understand that if there is wildlife as we are driving in through Lamar Valley and we stop to watch, that would definitely make our trip in take longer (and would be worth it).
Second, assuming that we are arriving in Yellowstone in the early afternoon and check in isn’t until 4:30, what is a good game plan for those few hours? Should we try to go check out Mammoth Hot Springs or the Canyon area… or is that entirely too far? I would like to check in at Roosevelt as early as we can so that we don’t get the last cabin that has been picked over.
We don’t have as many days as I would ideally love to have, so I am trying to make the most of our time. I understand the park is extremely spread out and my thinking may be way off… if so, please don’t laugh too hard at me. The last time I was at Yellowstone was over 30 years ago when I was in fifth grade, so I’m really looking forward to this trip! Thank you for any advice.